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  • BRITISH BOTANICAL GARDENS IN THE 1980s:

    CHANGES REFLECTED BY BIBLIOGRAPHICAL

    AND SOCIAL SURVEY

    Enid Constance Gilberthorpe

    Thesis submitted fox' the degree of PhD

    University of Sheffield Division of Education

    January 1987

  • cONTEN'rs

    PAGE NUMBER

    List of Contents :1.

    List of Illustrations 111

    Acknowledgements iv

    Summary vi

    CHAPTER

    I INTRODUCTION: AIMS AND SCOPE

    I

    2 KEY DOCUMENTS 27

    3 PLANTS FOR TEACHING, AND FOR RESEARCH: 42

    teaching of botany; supplies of plant

    material; research into taxonomy;

    experimental botany

    4

    ECONOMIC BOTANY - plants with domestic 57

    and medicinal uses and of commercial

    importance

    5

    HORTICULTURE: the acquisition and 74

    cultivation of plants in botanical

    gardens

    6

    AMENITY: plants for pleasure and

    97

    interest

    7

    PUBLIC INFORMATION AND EDUCATION ilk

    SERVICES; PUBLIC RECREATION FACILITIES

    1.

  • PAGE NUMBER

    139

    188

    220

    242

    2.7

    287

    294

    328

    CHAPTER

    8

    CONSERVATION: wild and cultivated

    plants in danger

    9

    BOTANICAL GARDENS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC;

    GUIDES TO THE GARDENS - PRINTED

    PUBLICITY; ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE

    GUIDE S

    10

    FUNCTIONS OF GARDENS - THE PROBLEM

    OF OVERLAP

    11

    SHEFFIELD BOTANICAL GARDENS

    12

    BOTANICAL GARDENS IN BRITISH 'TWINNED'

    TOWNS - ANY INTERACTION WITH THEIR

    EUROPEAN PARTNERS?

    13

    PUBLIC VIEWS ON BOTANICAL GARDENS -

    A SAMPLE SURVEY

    14

    GARDENS NOW AND IN THE FUTURE -

    POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENTS

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • ILLUSTRATIONS

    (between pages 219 and 220)

    National

    1. Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden: Rock Garden

    Pond.

    2. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens: Palm House with

    spring bedding.

    3. Westonbirt Arboretum (Forestry Commission):

    the memorial sarsen stone on Mitchell Drive.

    University

    L&. Cambridge University Botanic Garden: [view of

    Garden shown on front of folding leaflet].

    5. Ness Gardens (University of Liverpool): a late

    summer scene in the Heather Garden.

    6. Oxford University Botanic Gardens: The Botanic

    Garden as figured in Loggan's Oxonia Illustrata, 1675.

    Municipal.

    7. Glasgow Botanic Gardens: Tree ferns.

    8. Sheffield Botanical Gardens: Sheffield Botanical

    Gardens, 1970.

    111

  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    I wish to acknowledge my gratitude to Professor

    A. J. Willis, whose constant help and encouragement as

    supervisor and whose advice have been invaluable

    throughout this work.

    My thanks are also due to Professor W. H. G.

    Armytage, whose enthusiasm for the subject was an

    important stimulus; his guidance as supervisor during

    the first stage was much appreciated.

    The support of former colleagues was very welcome;

    they included especially Mr. R. F. Atkins, then Director Seji6L C2j

    of1Libraries, who gave permission for the sample survey

    of' staff views on botanical gardens. He also allowed

    access to weekly batches of new books on approval at the

    Central Library, a useful aid in the compilation of

    bibliographical material. Thanks are due to members of

    the Library staff who completed the questionnaire and who

    helped regularly with reference information over several

    years.

    Sincere thanks are also extended to many professionals,

    horticulturists and others, especially those who responded

    to the questionnaire on 'town twinning schemes. In

    addition to other directors and curators of' gardens who

    supplied information, I am particularly grateful for the

    valuable assistance of' Mr. A. L. Winning, then Director of

    Sheffield Recreation Department, who provided much horticultural

    information.

    iv

  • The generosity of Mr. G. Sheringham in allowing

    access to the questionnaires returned to him during his

    preparation of the series of articles for GC & HTJ

    magazine is acknowledged with thanks.

    Mrs. Anne Carroll and Mr. Tom Sleight, of

    Lockwoods florists shops,have given helpful information

    on growing wild flowers in gardens, included in Chapter 8.

    In a topic which is partly of a social nature,

    assistance from many acquaintances in different localities

    has been very helpful. In their willing contributions to

    discussions, they have confirmed the view that much value

    is attached by the conununity to gardens in general and to

    botanical gardens in particular.

    I thank Miss Barbara Waugh for some typing and other

    assistance, and Mrs. Ruth Barker for typing this thesis.

    Copyright of illustrations is acknowledged as

    follows:

    Cambridge University Botanic Gardens,

    Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden,

    Glasgow Botanic Gardens,

    Kew Royal Botanic Gardens,

    Ness Gardens (University of Liverpool),

    Oxford University Botanic Gardens,

    Sheffield Botanical Gardens,

    Westonbirt Arboretum (Forestry Commission).

    V

  • BRITISH BOTANICAL GARDENS IN THE 1980s:

    CHANGES REFLECTED BY BIBLIOGRAPHICAl.

    AND SOCIAL SURVEY

    SUMMARY

    Ci)

    British botanical gardens in the 1980s represent

    the latest stage in their long history dating

    from the Middle Ages. Origins lie in different

    types of institution: religious; academic;

    economic; amateur; scientific; and municipal.

    This diversity explains the variety of modern

    institutions involved with gardens, which may

    be recognized in four categories: state;

    university; local authority; and private

    societies.

    (2) The relationship of the gardens to the community

    is central to this study. Emphasis is placed

    on public views of them. (A small sample survey

    was conducted to obtain the ideas of the public

    about their functions.)

    (3) A questionnaire was sent to relevant gardens,

    enquiring about possible international relation-

    ships based on European twinning schemes.

    (p1) Many influences are seen to contribute to the

    substantial changes evident in the activities

    of British botanical gardens today. New

    vi

  • developments are considered, e.g. increased

    leisure and consequent need for recreation

    activities; transport facilities; influence

    of the mass media, especially television;

    conservation schemes; and current financial

    stringency. Some scientific advances (e.g.

    micropropagation) and technical progress (e.g.

    labour-saving machinery) are mentioned.

    (5) Six main functions of the gardens are identified

    and considered in detail: teaching and research;

    economic botany; horticulture; amenity; public

    in.iormation arid education services, public

    recreation facilities; and conservation. The

    functions are reviewed in relation to overlap

    with those of other modern institutions (e.g.

    research stations), and other types of garden.

    (6) Sheffield Botanical Gardens - seen in their

    historical context - provide a good example of

    change affecting a nineteenth-century institution

    adapted to the 1980s. The Gardens' importance

    to the local community is assessed from informal

    enquiries.

    (7) A bibliography of non-specialized material is

    included. Most chapters contain a literature

    section with notes on important published

    material.

    vii

  • (8) Findings include: the contribution, uniquely

    made by academic botanical gardens, to teaching

    and research; the importance in all the

    gardens of public information and education

    services and recreation facilities; the

    significance of conservation activities within

    a national and international framework.

    ENID CONSTANCE QILBERTHORPE

    vi. ii

  • Chapter 1

  • Chapter 1

    INTRODUCTION: AIMS AND SCOPE

    British botanical gardens are now at an exciting

    stage in their long development. During past centuries

    they have carried out different functions at various

    times. The purpose of the present study is to examine

    the functions which they now serve, to consider the

    different aspects of their work in the light of modern

    social conditions and to assess the continuing importance

    of their place in the life of the country, as seen from

    the point of view of the community.

    All the main activities within gardens are discussed,

    but special emphasis is given to those functions which

    are connected with amenity, public information, and

    recreation, and to the very important part which botanical

    gardens may play in conserving wild and garden plants.

    Aims of the investigation

    These may be summarized as follows:

    a) To identify and describe the various functions

    (and priorities) of different categories of

    contemporary botanical gardens of Great B